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Posts Tagged ‘customers’

A happy customer who FOUND something in your consignment or resale shop, from TGtbT.com

Got a camera?

Got happy customers?

You got a recurring topic to post about!

Just (more…)

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I write a monthly column called Growing Your Business for the NARTS newsletter. One of them was about being a customer who should have gotten a thank-you note but who didn’t, and the not-so-good taste it left in my mouth.

In response to that column, Kerri asked a good question:

I have question for you Kate–how do we decide WHO to send a thank you to–whether it be a gift, a card, a gift card, etc? With an average of around 40-50 sales per day depending on the time of year, how do I decide who to write to? As you said, your purchase might not have been the biggest sale of the day, but it would still be nice to receive something. Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated–thanks!!

My thoughts on the ROI (Return On Investment) of thank-you notes follows. After all, we can’t write thank-you notes to everyone, so where will it (more…)

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Armloads of incoming consignments!

Could refining your acceptance & pricing procedures make this a less-scary sight? Click!

A question from a shopkeeper that’s pretty pertinent at this time of year:

Q:  I need to limit the number of drop off we get (just too much inventory). I am leaning towards ‘quiet hours’ and stop taking drop offs an hour before we close, and maybe no drop offs on Monday…

Here’s a pretty no-holds-barred reply. If you are easily bruised, please skip this message.

Kate says:

If consignors cannot drop off after THEIR work hours, you’ll lose those who work (and who tend to change out their wardrobes more often than those who don’t.) In many cases, the ideal “drop-off” time would be after 5pm… depending on local office business hours, distance from work to your shop, and so on.

Limiting the number of drop offs does only one thing: Limit the selection from which YOU can select the items which will sell fastest ( = you have the clientele for them)
… which gives you rapid turnover which leads to more frequent visitors/ buyers coming into the shop. Making it less convenient for consignors is not the answer.

There really is no such thing as “too much inventory”… all there is is “too much inventory that is as yet unsold.” Limiting incoming means you are limiting yourself to consignors who can fulfill YOUR needs… and I think the most experienced consignees on this group will tell you that the “best” (most salable for the most $) stuff usually comes from women who are not able/are unwilling to work their drop offs around a shop’s limited schedule.

(Side note: If there was ever a day NOT to choose as a “no drop off day“, it’s Monday. Doesn’t EVERY woman clean out her closets on Sunday? And who wants that pile of stuff cluttering up the bedroom past Monday morning?)

If your shop fills up, it’s because your turnover is too low. Try pricing so that things fly out the door… not so low as to be unprofitable to you or the consignor, but low enough that most items sell before that 20% off at 3 weeks guideline.

If drop offs are driving you crazy, try altering your handling procedures and staff who are handling the goods. Some shops actually have processing personnel who work after the shop is closed for the evening… so next morning, sales staff come in to a shop ready to be freshly stocked with recorded, tagged, rehung goods.

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Max Burns, Consignment Child, on his first day of school

Here’s Max, who basically grew up (at least so far LOL) in Revente, a Columbia SC consignment shop, on his first day of school. He’s adorable, yes, but tear your eyes from that smile and see what he’s holding:

A fill-in-the-blanks sign

designed to create via cell phone photo, both a family keepsake and a perfect social media plug for his school!

How could you use this idea (tip: it’s a blank form under the glass and glass markers to use to fill in the specifics)? I found the perfect outfit for ________? This ___’s gonna look great in my home? I scored the BEST deal on ______? 

Or maybe you like the

poke-your-head-through photo boards

which have been around since cameras were first invented? Here’s Rose Shapiro being Rosie the Riveter.

Imagine your shop name in the speech bubble

Revision 8-28-17: Oh dear, I forgot to include the photo that inspired this post! Here’s Kirsty Roefs of House of Consignment in Unadilla NY with their Back-to-School photo board! 

kirsty

What “mascot” could you use for your shop? I’m thinking sewing form if that’s part of your shop branding…

or even a tongue-in-cheek husband chair, labeled “Waitin’ at MyShop”….

 

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In between seasons, your shop can look a little, well, empty. And we can’t have THAT. After all, you don’t want customers asking

“Are you going out of business?”

One solution is to remove racks from the sales floor, but that’s a pain and where will you store them and anyway (more…)

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The Ohio State Fair is starting this week. So, if your shop is within the geographical circle that’s likely to be planning to go, the main thought in your customers’ minds might be

What am I gonna wear?

Your consignment customers will be needing the perfect outfit for the fair!

and of course

I need it NOW!

Using the unspoken immediate needs or wants of potential shoppers means (more…)

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One shop is concerned with slumping sales, saying that the mom trade groups on Facebook are causing her shop to lose sales.

Yet there is nothing

Buying stuff from strangers in a rainy parking lot?on her Facebook page or her web site motivating folks to shop with her rather thanwith some stranger in a parking lot. If her assessment of the battle facing her is true, wouldn’t she be wise to gather some ammo and fight back? She could post, often and charmingly, of

all the advantages her shop has over stranger-dealing…

from A (we’re air-conditioned, shop in comfort!) to Z (Zounds! This shop has ah-mazzzing selection, you’ll be able to choose the perfect item rather than settling for less!)

Another shopkeeper complains that “people don’t know I’m here”

yet there is nothing

TGtbT.com helps thrift shops become profitableto make the eye of a motorist or pedestrian glom onto her store front. The store’s just one in a row of identical frontage.

Grab their attention, stand out!

Would a large silk tree that she could wheel out onto the pavement every morning make people notice? Or vinyl lettering on the glass, or a bright and well-lit display changed every week?

A third resaler says “they just want sales and deals before they’ll buy.”

And yet,

Free Smile sign from HowToConsign.com

he doesn’t take advantage of his software’s ability to add a line on every tag with the original retail value of that armchair or dresser that will underline the values inherent in his merchandise.

Nor does he add value with some personalized signage, the kind you’d only see in a real-life, bricks-&-mortar, shop-local type of situation.

 

Fight back! Don’t stand there and take it… better to stand out from the crowd!

 

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